As we close out August and welcome September, I am reminded of how much I cherish this occurrence that happens twelve times each year.
It brings with it reflection upon what’s being left behind and anticipation for what lies ahead—an opportunity to think about what we could have done differently and the motivation to try again in the days ahead.
It should remind each of us that life is made up of endless cycles, ebbs and flows, ups and downs, beginning and endings, life and death—but it continues with specific consistencies that we can count on, look forward to, or miss terribly—all while trusting it will return to us.
Many have come to realize that I celebrate the last day, first day, holiday, special day, any day—and that’s been met with both praise and criticism. I struggle with the latter opinion, though, and am well aware that some find happiness in misery and make it their life goal to drag others onto their island—but I’m not going.
If we lose sight of the special moments, special people, special days, special occasions, we lose sight of life itself.
Some may take it for granted, but stop and think about it for just a moment:
Birds singing in the background of our day. The land upon which we stand—city streets a bustle, parks where we hear children laughing, forests filled with wildlife, and the mountains that stand so proudly. Lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, and may I not leave out my most favorite of all—the sea: quiet and still on some days, loud and ominous on others, waves crashing against the shore. The sun, the moon, and the stars, which we often look up to when gathering our thoughts or searching for a moment of peace.
In today’s tense political, societal, environmental, and racial climates, can we step back and be reminded of the beauty that surrounds us and life’s simple pleasures? Embrace the change that happens in our natural world each day without our trying to control it?
We are not too busy. We choose not to notice. So pay attention.
A global pandemic. Politics. Black Lives Matter. The thin blue line. Violence. Looting. Hate. Resistance. It all exists with so many posturing with their viewpoints and opinions, each competing for first place. With the endless personal assaults and continuous verbal warfare being used on each other, no one will ever win—and we will all suffer the loss.
Even if just for one day, step back. Breathe. Let the anger diffuse. Give intelligence the opportunity to assess. Then evaluate what we have control over, and what we do not.
Inhale the hint of fall. Exhale the days of summer. Make it your meditation. And focus on what is, embrace what’s ahead, and cherish what was, while anticipating what can be. But if we don’t take these moments—celebrating the small things that happen in a day, the passing of each month, or the change of seasons—we risk losing sight of so much more by getting caught up in the chaos of what has become our society today.
Maybe if we recognize what is in and out of our control, we will take charge of what we can—and accept what we cannot.